Thursday, October 15, 2015

Stay Smart with Connected Home Products from Best Buy #BBYConnectedHome


The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

When you're a modern family living on a budget, it can be hard to stay up to date on current trends, while saving money. For our family, we're always looking for ways to spend less- on our bills, everyday expenses, and to get the most use out of products and services for the money spent. We love modern conveniences, and being able to connect our devices at home, as well as contol some of our sevices from our smartphones, which we pretty much live by these days.

Best Buy makes it easier than ever to be smart about the way you connect your home to your life, and get the most out of your connected life at home. We look for ways to spend less on our bills every month, and one of the ways that we've been able to save lately, has been buy using our new NEST Smart Thermostat. We'd been eyeing the NEST Thermostats for quite some time, wondering if if would help us save on our electric bill. We have electric heat, and our our bill soars in the summer and winter, when we have to have the A/C or heat on.


The NEST Thermostat allows you to take control of heating and cooling your home- even when you're away. We received the NEST Thermostat to try out in our home, and were so excited to install it, and use it. Luckily, my husband is handy, so we didn't have any problems replacing our old thermostat with the new NEST. Once the thermostat was installed, we downloaded the NEST App onto our phones, and were able to start using it immediately. We love that the NEST is easy to use, and the instructions for set-up were easy to follow. 


One of the best things about the NEST Thermostat, for us, is that we travel a lot, so being able to control our thermostat from our Smartphones is a huge win for us. We were so used to having to call a friend or family member and ask them to swing by our house and to please set the thermostat back to our desired temperature, so the house would be heated or cooled by the time we arrived home. With the NEST App, we can simply control the thermostat from our phones- no matter where we are. If we leave the house, and forget to turn the thermostat down, we can quickly turn it down right from our phone. We can set the NEST to  warm up or cool back down to a certan temperature, without having to be home to touch the physical thermostat. We love using the away mode- whether we're gone on vacation, or just out for the day! You can also connect the NEST to your laptop or tablet, and use through the WiFi in your home.

The NEST also works for us! The NEST literally learns about our home- it learns the heating and cooling patterns of our home, and the current weather conditions to help adjust the temperature, and help us save energy! NEST typically helps to cut down an average of 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling. The real test for us will come in the dead of winter, and heat of summer.

We love the NEST's sleek design, and its smart features. It can sense when someone walks into the room, and then lights up to show you the display face, so you can easily see the temperature you've set, without having to go over to the thermostat. We live in an old home, but we are trying to make a lot of modern updates, and this is one of the ways we've been able to do so. We never want to go back to our old thermostat again!


Another way we've been able to cleverly connect our home, and make our devices work for us, is by using the Netgear Nighthawk DST. This new Netgear Exclusive Router is a must-have for families who experience frustration or difficulties with their current routers. My husband had been complaining about our router for months, because we were having trouble having so many devices in our home connected to the WiFi. We have over 10 devices connected to our WiFi network, including laptops, tablets, the printer, streaming devices, and phones- not to mention, our guests use our network when they come over to our house. 

We were given the opportunity to try out the brand new Netgear Nighthawk DST Router, which is an exclusive router made through a partnership between Netgear and Best Buy. My husband was over the moon when we received this router, because he'd been complaining about how slow our internet connection seemed, with having so many devices in our home connected at once. The average home has about 7 devices connected to one router, and as the numbe rof devices connected increases, it can put a strain on the home network, especially the router. We sometimes experience 'dead zones' which can now be eliminated, thanks to this new router.

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We love the design, and loved how easy the new Netgear Nighthawk was to set up. We followed simple instructions from the Best Buy Geek Squad to set up our new router, and hubby was so glad to ditch the old one. The AC1900 comes with one DST, or “Dead Spot Terminator,” adapter – to eliminate your Wi-Fi dead zones; place it in an area where you get little/no reception, to improve Wi-Fi access. Additional adapters can be purchased for other dead zones.

The awesome router by Netgear can connect 10+ devices in the home, which is perfect for us, as a family who relies on our home network for working, projects, connecting with family, etc. We've had our new router installe for just about two weeks, and have loved using it! We're experiencing zero problems or interruptions. We were getting so used to having to swich off devices when we needed to use another, and now we don't have to do that. We can run two streaming services at once in the house, while being on the laptop or on the tablet. Everyone in the house can do what they want or need to do with no problem.

We also love having the Geek Squad support, 24/7! We can jump online, on a phone call, or schedule an appointment for assistance, any time we need to. This service is offered exclusively to Best Buy customers. 

As a busy mom, I loved how easy it was to set up and install the new router. It's great for our home, with so many devices, and it has such an incredible range, that it would be perfect for larger homes, as well- say a two story house, which needs a larger network, or sometimes even two routers. The additional adapters that come with the Netgear Nighthawk can be placed through out the home, extending the network to where you need it to reach. Since we have small children at home, we love the extra security features, being able to control website filters for all of the devices in our home. 

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We ditched our cable TV a long time ago, and it was really hard for me o give up some of my favorites shows on preferred networks, like HGTV, The FOOD Network, E!, etc. My hubby doesn't love watchin TV as much as I do, so it wasn't a huge deal for him, but for me, not being able to watch some of my favorite shows was pretty disappointing. I also love being able to watch the news- I feel disconnected from the community and the rest of the world without being able to see what's going on. 

We were able to try out a trial version of Sling TV, which is a monthly services which allows you to watch your favorite TV shows live- on your terms. For just $20.00 a month, you can wath your favorites networks and shows on your devices. It was easy as pie to set up and start using Sling TV. I love being able to catch some of my old favorite shows, anytime I please- whether it's through my laptop, my tablet, etc. I can even watch it right through my favorite streaming device, our Roku. There was no equipment that had to be set up, and no contract- I can pay as I go, and put the service on hold if and when I need to. You can even add on additional entertainment packages- like HBO, for just $15.00/month! Take that, cable bill!

There is also a $50 off compatible device offer – available with 3 months of prepaid Sling TV service; this offer is available in Best Buy stores only, and not online; the $50 discount is given in the form of a Best Buy store coupon. We love being able to save and be smart about the way we connect our home, through awesome products available at Best Buy!

For more information on the above featured products, head on over to Best Buy.


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